ARREST THIS DRIFT, PRESIDENT JONATHAN
It would appear that the attack on some media houses in Abuja and Kaduna penultimate week is the real spark that the fundamentalist Islamic sect, Boko Haram, needed to go beserk. The violent sect, in a coordinated attack, bombed the Abuja office of THISDAY Newspapers and another building housing The Sun, Moment and THISDAY Newspapers in Kaduna.
Ever since the twin attacks took place, Boko Haram has practically gone on rampage, leaving death and destruction in its wake. The carnage has become a daily fare, making what we have in our hands today a clear case of emergency.
In fact, the terrorist onslaught inflicted on Nigeria by Boko Haram between 26th and 30th April, 2012, is clearly alarming. Within these five days, the sect left no one in doubt that it is out to annihilate the Nigerian State. It began with the attacks on media houses that left eight people dead and several others injured.
The cost of the attacks was still being counted when the terrorist sect invaded a church service on the campus of Bayero University Kano and opened fire on worshippers. Some 15 people fell to the dastardly attack. Then within 48 hours of the Kano massacre, the terror gang took Jalingo, the Taraba State capital, by storm, attacked the convoy of the State Commissioner of Police, and killed 11 people in the process.
To demonstrate that it is having a field day, the sect mocked the nation openly by releasing the video tape of its attack on THISDAY Newspapers and alerted one and all that it would attack a number of other media houses. While Nigeria was pondering over the ominous dimension of the latest terror alert from Boko Haram, the sect invaded a cattle market in Potiskum, Yobe State. The attack left over 60 people dead. It must be noted that since Boko Haram began its deadly campaign against Nigeria, at no time has it ceaselessly held the country by the jugular with the frequency of the attacks that we have recounted. The quick succession with which they were carried out, and the absolute lack of response from security agencies, leave no one in doubt that Nigeria is in a state of siege.
In the past few days, Nigerians of all walks of life have expressed grave concerns over this development. Eminent Nigerians like Gen. Theophilus Danjuma, former Minister of Defence, have alerted that Nigeria is on fire. Danjuma has called for a halt to what he described as 'Somalianisation' of Nigeria. Some other Nigerians have spoken in similar vein.
Indeed, Nigeria is in perilous times. The state of siege is such that Nigerians now live in fear. They hardly know when and where the next bomb would explode. The country really has an emergency on its hands.
But in all of this, the people look up to their president, the commander-in-chief, who promised them on assumption of office that he would provide them with security. Even if the president did not make this solemn pledge, we would have reminded him that the primary reason for the existence of government is the protection of life and property. Where this is missing, society relapses into the Hobbesean state of nature where life is nasty, brutish and short.
It will be stating the obvious to say that government has, so far, failed to live up to expectation in the area of security of life and property. There is complete breakdown of law and order. The Boko Haram onslaught has effectively taken Nigeria back to the Hobbesean state. Death and destruction have become the order of the day. This progressive deterioration of security is unacceptable. A popularly elected government such as Jonathan's should not be run over as if it is an illegal body. There is only one sovereign in the land and we expect that sovereign to exercise its authority to the fullest. That is why we expect the president to take decisive actions that will reassure the Nigerian citizenry.
President Goodluck Jonathan must therefore put on the garb of action. His complacency and refusal to confront the situation is taking Nigeria into a deeper muddle. He has to arrest the drift by taking charge of the affairs of the land and be bold enough to confront the evil ravaging the fabric of the country. It is, indeed, regrettable that our president who is supposed to play the good shepherded to his scattered flock has become the chief mourner of Nigeria.
He looks subdued and forlorn each time Boko Haram strikes. Such a disposition does not become a president. It demoralizes the nation. He should take steps to subdue the menace rather than be overwhelmed by it. As president, he has a historical duty to pull Nigeria out of the brink. He will be putting the country at risk if he fails to do so.